UNODA holds training course in Sweden

The U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) began an advanced training course in Sweden on Monday for experts involved with a mechanism for investigating alleged chemical and biological weapon use.

The experts were nominated to the roster of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons. The course is scheduled to take place June 9-14 in Umeå, Sweden.

Since its endorsement by the U.N. General Assembly in 1990, the mechanism was aimed at conducting timely and efficient investigation of reports of alleged use of biological and chemical weapons.

"Any interested member state may designate to the secretary-general relevant specialized training or courses available to qualified experts in support of their possible role on his behalf in carrying out investigations of possible use of CBT (chemical, biological or toxin) agents, including exchange of information and expertise, in order to facilitate achievement of a common basis of understanding and operation," the guidelines for the mechanism said.

The course, which was organized by the European Center at the University of Umeå, is the third course for experts on Ban's roster. UNODA expected 18 trainees to attend the course.

The training was funded by the government of Sweden and UNODA, which used grants from the government of Norway and the European Union.